E-Cigarettes flouting the law & should be treated like tobacco

MEDIA RELEASE – 14 May 2015

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the sale of E-cigarettes flouted at least two laws, posed a danger in re-normalising smoking, and called on the NSW government to move more quickly to ensure  E-cigarettes are regulated as tobacco is regulated.

“The Greens are very concerned that big tobacco is using e-cigarettes to re-normalise smoking and attract non-smokers and young people to take up an addictive and potentially harmful product, said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“It is illegal to sell nicotine, a Schedule 7 dangerous poison, other than as an official therapeutic good under the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008.  It is also illegal to sell products that resemble cigarettes under Section 21 of the Public Heath (Tobacco) Act 2008.

“However, e-cigarettes and vapour fluids containing nicotine are being sold in NSW without any enforcement of these laws.  NSW Health tests in 2013 revealed 70% of vapour fluid contains high levels of nicotine.

In addition, E-cigarettes are not captured by the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, meaning they can be used anywhere without breaking the law, including in schools or on buses.  Interestingly NSW Health introduced a state-wide policy banning the use of e-cigarettes at NSW Health facilities, recognising the potential health and safety risks.

“Big tobacco is clearly trying to make smoking cool and sexy, with flavours, colours, and marketing that appeal to young people.  Marketing an addictive product in this way should not be allowed to occur and the government should act.

“The NSW government has brought in legislation to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and the Greens support this, but this is a bare minimum and I urge them to work quickly to introduce further legislation.

“The Greens believe e-cigarettes should be treated like real cigarettes, with the same regulations, restrictions and prohibitions.  Tobacco has caused too much damage, sadness, suffering and death.  The re-normalisation of smoking should not be allowed to occur and must be nipped in the bud.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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